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<   No. 4209   2020-03-12   >

Comic #4209

1 Long Tom: Time fer some plunderin’! Be settin’ sail fer Antigua!
2 Higgs: Beggin’ yer pardon, cap’n, but that be a British colony.
2 Long Tom: So?
3 Higgs: I be needin’ some more supplies fer cookin’.
4 Long Tom: Be settin’ sail fer Martinique!
4 Dirque: Arrr!
4 Wendy: Arrr!

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Antigua is an island that was settled by the British in 1632, although there were at least three prior groups of inhabitants: the Guanahatabey, the Arawak, and the Caribs.

Martinique was settled by the French in 1635.

Interestingly, both the English and French began their settlement of the West Indies on the nearby island of Saint Kitts, in 1623 and 1625 respectively. They managed to set aside their traditional differences and united forces in 1626 to massacre the native Carib inhabitants, after which they agreed to partition the island between English and French control. From this base, both nations set forth to colonise further islands, to the further detriment of the natives.

You might think that the English and French would have split the island down the middle and had one half each. Mais non! The French took each end and the English took the middle, as can be seen from this map from 1654 (public domain, from Wikimedia Commons [1] and [2], my colouring added):

Map of St Kitts showing French/English partition

I originally wrote this comic using Montserrat as the British destination. However when sitting down to write this annotation, I discovered that Montserrat was in fact settled by Irish settlers in 1632. The Irish disliked the English so much that in 1666 they actually invited the French to claim the island. They did so, but were subsequently expelled in 1667 by the late-arriving English, at which point Montserrat became an English colony. Too late for this comic, since it's set in 1652. So obviously I couldn't use Montserrat as Captain Long Tom Short's initial destination, and changed it to Antigua.

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